[Marxism] Getting Over State Socialism's Crimes

Roger Raven rogergen at tpg.com.au
Fri Feb 2 19:30:18 MST 2007

It would seem that only your own shirt touches you closely.   An extremely arrogant view, and symptomatic of the dogmatism and shallowness of discussion of this subject.   If you're happy with neo-liberalism, you're not a socialist, so what are you doing on this list?

As I pointed out, literally hundred of thousands of people in the former USSR have been dying unnecessarily since 1991 - they and their families wouldn't thank your kind for your arrogant and deeply selfish dismissal of their unnecessary suffering.   As I also pointed out, state socialist victory in the USSR and PRC doubled the length of life of their entire population - over a thousand million people - permanently.   

This Gulag fetish is something you're fully entitled to practice with other consenting adults, but mentally mature socialists are expected to get over it and recognise the great contribution that socialism has made.   A honest comparison of state socialist and capitalist crimes is not about justifying either - it is a warning of what progressive people should try and avoid.

Imperial America has its own pseudo-liberal Gulag.   The United States leads the world in putting criminals in jail - according to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College, London, the United States detains 714 prisoners per 100,000 people. That amounts to two million prisoners, most held in appalling and degrading conditions.    Your capitalist Russia has 786,900 inmates, or 550 per 100,000 people.

Those very high numbers are due to a vicious and punitive approach to punishment - but it is a failure! and has been for decades!   Within three years of their release, two of every three prisoners are back behind bars.   Imprisonment has become the response of first resort to far too many of the social problems that afflict the poor.   As was noted by that great jurist John Cooke, who handled the Tyrannicide Brief that sent Charles I to the scaffold, most crime is caused by poverty; the answer is to make poverty history.

An estimated 12 per cent of African-American men aged 20 to 34 are in jail - the highest ever.   In addition, the United States jails around 283,000 people with serious mental illnesses .

Your selfishness is entirely shameful.   Just as ordinary Russians would not have been concerned about the purges after 1939 because they weren't affected by them, you are quite happy with Imperial America's capitalist horrors because they don't affect you.   

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Naveen Jaganathan 
  To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition 
  Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 11:24 PM
  Subject: Re: [Marxism] Getting Over State Socialism's Crimes

  Wow.... So you want the Left to put its efforts into making an apologia for
  Stalinism and to tell people the gulag wasn't so bad afterall?  Yes, we
  should point out capitalism's crimes from slavery to the holocaust is not a
  humanitarian record, but to claim the cultural revolution, or the slave
  labor camps were not as bad (as we've been led to believe) is absurd!  If
  Marxism is about Stalinist horrors I want no part of it, and neither should
  "the masses."  I'd take the relative "freedoms" of psuedo-liberalism over
  Stalinism anyday!


  On 2/1/07, Roger Raven <rogergen at tpg.com.au> wrote:
  > Indeed.   It is ideas, and the proof that those ideas are sound and
  > generally do work, that will generate public support.   The public are under
  > no obligation to believe; we have to win them over.
  > Roger
  > ----- Original Message -----
  > From: Benjamin Morgan
  > To: Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition
  > Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 11:32 PM
  > Subject: Re: [Marxism] Getting Over State Socialism's Crimes
  > comrade Ben:
  >    While analyzing the current political strata of the left you must argue
  > that they didn't choose failure! have you read the Empire by Michael Hardt
  > and Antonio Negri's "Empire" post industrial capitalist states are forming
  > one big globalized empire through information technology. The left, although
  > resilient, has yet to gain the worker base necessary to efficiently struggle
  > for true socialism; this is for several reasons. First, without all the
  > massive industries and with outsourcing the capitalist exploit Latin
  > America, Africa, and the third world outside of the public eye. As we all
  > know the bourgeois control the entirety of the media playing up Taiwanese
  > sweat shops isn't good for "business". Second, Media is loosing territorial
  > confines so covert anti-left messages, basically pro-western media is
  > subsuming the globe that's why socialist states like China attempt to
  > regulate media; although, it's failing when people in China are listening to
  > fucking rap music teaching
  >   them capitalism while attempting to fuck up the infrastructure of there
  > society. Rogers right, places like Argentina and Venezuela's left have made
  > great strides. Even Americans can't deny that although Cuba is poor poverty
  > rates are negligible. What we need is a revitalization of the left. I
  > believe that critical pedagogy can be gradually instilled within society and
  > that if we can teach our children another way of learning in time we can
  > establish to say a counter empire that can ameliorate socialism
  > misconceptions in the status quo.
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